the vorticists

international symposium the vorticists

Ezra Pound   Lewis Composition   Wyndham Lewis
Alvin Langdon Coburn
Ezra Pound, 1913
Private Collection
  Wyndham Lewis
Composition, 1913
Collection of the Tate, London. Purchased 1949.
Image courtesy of Tate Photography © By kind permission of the Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust (a registered charity)
  Alvin Langdon Coburn
Wyndham Lewis, 1916
International History of Photography Collection, ca. 1900-1951, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections
Library, Duke University Durham, North Carolina.

Saturday, January 29, the international symposium The Vorticists will take place in Venice, at the Auditorium Santa Margherita (Dorsoduro 3689), from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The symposium, planned to coincide with the opening of the exhibition The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-1918 (January 29 – May 15, 2011), looks broadly at the artists and thinkers who contributed to the movement. It introduces students, scholars, and the general public to an avant-garde virtually unknown in this country. Nine international scholars will participate, each focusing on the core ideas of the main protagonists of Vorticism. Vivien Greene, Curator of 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (and co-curator of the exhibition The Vorticists together with Mark Antliff, Professor of Art History at Duke University), will be the moderator. This symposium has been made possible by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. Additional support has been received from The Henry Moore Foundation and Ca’ Foscari University.

The Vorticists is the first exhibition in Italy dedicated to Britain’s most original and radical contribution to the visual avant-gardes that flourished in Europe in the years before and during World War I. Its distinctive figurative abstraction was a London-based Anglo-American response to Cubism and Futurism. Led by poet Ezra Pound and by artist and writer Wyndham Lewis, and underpinned by the aesthetic philosophies of thinkers such as T.E. Hulme, Vorticism flared up between 1913 (when its expression in painting and sculpture first matured in works by Lewis, Jacob Epstein, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska) and 1917. The Great War, as well as personal and theoretical differences, dispersed the members of the group. After 1918 Vorticism’s energies failed.


9:45 Vivien Greene: Introduction

10:00 Giovanni Cianci: “Two Cultures, Two Avant-gardes Compared: the Vorticist Ezra Pound versus the Futurist F.T. Marinetti, 1910-1920”
10:30 Tom Normand: “Wyndham Lewis: Vorticist”
11:00 Patrick McGuinness: “T.E. Hulme, Extreme Moderate”

11:30 break

12:00 Richard Cork: “The Scandalous Epstein”
12:30 Mark Antliff: “Anarchist Vortex: the Art and Life of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska”

1:00-2:30 LUNCH

2:30 Brigid Peppin: “Helen Saunders and her Contribution to Vorticism”
3:00 Pamela Glasson Roberts: “Alvin Langdon Coburn and the Vorticists”

3:30 break

4:00 Robert Hewison: “Cutting and Dazzling: The Woodcuts of Edward Wadsworth”
4:30 Andrew Gibbon-Williams: “Vorticism in Perspective – Subsequent Assessments”

5:00 Round table

6:00 Conclusion

credits: Hangar Design Group